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Computerized Play list

KTPK Gets User-Friendly

NEW YORK "The bottom line is that I have more time to handle my duties as a music director," says KTPK Topeka's Jim Gibb of his recently installed computerized play list.

By posting his play list. on the electronic bulletin board based at Topeka's Thoroughbred Computers, Gibb has eliminated the time-consuming process of reading song sheets to the many label promotion people who call each week. In turn, Gibb says the promo reps save time and money by not getting caught on long-distance hold.

The logistics of this method revolve around ASCII, the universal programming language which allows all computer owners to "speak to" Thoroughbred's computer. Gibb has assigned passwords to his promo reps which enable them to access his weekly play list of 55 country tunes via a modem (a telephone transmission link). Aside from phone charges, the service is free to record representatives.

The computer retailer also provides the service free to KTPK in exchange for use of the station's top 20 list and concert hotline and Gibb's own "Album Corner" record reviews. These items are posted on a general access bulletin board at Thoroughbred designed to serve customers and entice potential clients. In addition to benefiting Thoroughbred, Gibb says the listings have inspired extra traffic at local music retailers.

Gibb scoffs at the idea that this system represents any form of dehumanization. "I'm still very open to music calls," he notes. "This just saves us time both ways."

Billboard Magazine

June 29,1985